Chris S. Brown, DDS
Complete Family Dentistry & Cosmetics
CONTACT US 651.385.9348
Tooth whitening can brighten up your entire face, and it is a procedure that is constantly in demand. At River City Dental we take the time to make sure your results look natural while ensuring your comfort and safety throughout your tooth whitening treatment.
Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, it is inevitable that, over time, some yellowing or discoloration will occur. This gradual change can be caused by aging, substances that stain your teeth (such as coffee and tobacco), excessive fluoride, or the deterioration of a tooth’s nerve. A tooth whitening treatment can be performed either as an at-home, dentist-supervised process or in the dentist’s chair. While neither of these methods stops future discoloration, these tooth-whitening treatments bring about whiter teeth and help create a brighter smile.
The most popular method of tooth whitening is the at-home, dentist-supervised option. During your visit to the dentist for tooth whitening, Dr. Brown’s team will take a mold of your teeth and creates a comfortable, customized mouth tray. The mouth tray holds a mild solution whose main ingredient is carbamide peroxide, a substance that reacts with water to release a non-toxic bleaching element (hydrogen peroxide). The mouth tray is placed inside your mouth and sits only against the teeth, thereby avoiding contact with your gums. You can choose either to wear the mouth tray throughout the night or for stretches that last from two to four hours. When the mouth tray is worn throughout the night, the tooth whitening treatment lasts one to two weeks. If you have more sensitive teeth you may opt for the latter approach, which lasts three to five weeks.
The alternative method for teeth whitening is a laser procedure, performed at the dentist’s office. This tooth whitening treatment involves coating your teeth with a paste-like form of carbamide peroxide. When the laser is applied to this paste, the tooth’s enamel takes on a whiter appearance. This tooth whitening technique lasts approximately one hour in the dentist’s chair and involves no further at-home tooth whitening treatment. While more convenient than take-home tooth whitening treatments, it is more expensive and the results are not as long lasting.
When using the at-home teeth whitening treatment, patients’ teeth may feel a heightened, but temporary, sensitivity. The gums may also feel more sensitive or burn slightly. Not all people experience the quality of whiteness they had hoped for on their first tooth whitening treatment, and they may require a “touch-up” treatment. Teeth whitening treatments begin to fade in one to four years. It should be noted that tooth whitening treatments have no effect on the artificial materials used for composite bonds, porcelain veneers, or capped teeth.